Uganda Chamber of Mines and Petroleum (UCMP) is planning for the first mineral wealth conference scheduled October in an effort to attract local and international investors.
The theme of the two day event is “showing Uganda mining potential.”
“We hope the conference can attract investment in Uganda’s mining sector which will utilize the mineral resources for social and economic transformation of the country,” Irene Nakalyango the Chambers boss, said.
The conference, which will become a yearly event, will bring together mining investors, decision makers, business leaders, financiers and academics from all over the world.
“Senior executive leadership will gather to discuss cutting edge technologies and operational investment that will drive the mining industry for years to come,” Nakalyango added. “It will be an exciting period of opportunity and investment in the sector.”
The ministry of energy and mineral development, ministry of foreign affairs and the UCMP are jointly organizing the conference.
Uganda embarked on a five-year sustainable management of mineral resources project that was aimed at acquiring geo-scientific data and create an environment for attracting investors who will revamp the mineral sector.
The broad goal was to open huge investment opportunities paving way for the creation of an attractive investment climate that will increase production for social and economic development.
The airborne geophysical survey which covered about 80% of the country indicates that Uganda is endowed with rich and diverse mineral wealth where investors could exploit and get high return on their investments.
According the ministry of energy and mineral development, the project began in 2004 and was funded by the World Bank, the Nordic Development Fund, African Development Bank (AfDB) and the Ugandan government at a cost of $42.7m
It covered many aspects including strengthening of governance in mineral sector management and small scale mining.
Other aims are the establishment of environmental and social systems, geo-information and development as well as project management and coordination.
The programme ensured that emphasis and financial support were laid down on encouraging small-scale miners and artisanal operators to form groups and legalise operations through provision of small scale grants.
“We need to distinguish between mineral occurrences and potential minds. There is a large gap between the two. This means that Uganda has a long way to go in developing its mining industry,” Sabine Anderson the Serin Mining boss said.